With more than 200 events taking place on the island each year, the Sardinians certainly know how to celebrate their heritage.

One of the biggest events in the Sardinian calendar takes place in Sassari. The second-biggest city on the island has a population of more than 130,000.

The Cavalcata Sarda is held in Sassari every May, and is one of the few events that sees all the traditions and customs of the island come together in one celebration.

Cavalcata Sarda, or “Sardinian ride”, dates back hundreds of years, and has become a tribute to Sardinia’s, and indeed Italy’s, rich history.

The very first event is thought to have been held in 1711, when the city’s authorities decided to ride in homage to King Philip V of Spain, at the end of Spanish domination.

The celebration as we know it today was established in 1899, when the King of Italy Umberto I visited Sassari to see the unveiling of a monument in the city’s piazza.

Over the years, Cavalcata Sarda has changed and adapted to become a celebration of Italian folklore and historic tradition.

The event sees residents of all ages parade on horseback or on foot through Sassari. Thousands of people turn out for the event, the majority of whom are in traditional dress.

Cavalcata Sarda is a dazzling display of colour, perfumes and beauty, not to mention lively singing and dancing into the small hours.

Horses play an important role in the event as well, with riders showing off their skills in the city’s horse-racing course.

There’s no better place to soak up Italy’s rich heritage, so find some colourful dress, grab your dancing shoes and get over to Sardinia!

(Images: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Fiore Silvestro Barbato)

About the author

Oonagh ShielContent Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!

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